Harry Browne Made Us Want to Be

Better Libertarians


Harry Browne: Born June 17, 1933 - Died March 1, 2006

Special Edition of Small Government News*
Thursday, March 2, 2006

The official publication of the Center for Small Government

“small government is beautiful*”
- Carla Howell

Publisher: Carla Howell

Editor: Michael Cloud




- Harry Browne Died March 1, 2006

- “A Goodbye Letter to Harry Browne” by Michael Cloud

- “The One and Only Harry Browne” by Carla Howell

- Please Send Your “Thank You, and Goodbye, Harry Browne” Message to Pamela Browne




Last night, our beloved friend Harry Browne died. He was the 1996 and 2000 Libertarian Presidential Nominee. He succumbed to a prolonged neurological illness. We dedicate this issue of Small Government News to his memory.



by Michael Cloud


Dear Harry,

You changed my life. First, with your book, "How I Found Freedom In an Unfree World."

And, then, more importantly, with your personal example and influence during your 1996 and 2000 Presidential campaigns - and all our work together in the last 12 years.

You were my teacher, my mentor, my coach, and, in many ways, my wise Uncle.

"You make me want to be a better man," said Jack Nicholson in 'As Good As It Gets.'

Harry, you made me want to be a better libertarian, a better writer, and a better man. You do still.

Do you remember August 14, 1994?

It was the day you called me and asked me to organize your 1996 Libertarian Presidential campaign.

You had spoken with 3 prominent libertarians before you called me.

The first libertarian told you, “Don't run for President as a Libertarian. They'll break your heart.”

The second libertarian spent a weekend telling you how hard and unrewarding it would be.

The third spent a few hours telling you that running for President as a Libertarian was a waste of time.

But the second and third libertarians suggested that you call me before you decided.

On August 14, 1994, you called me.

“Should I run for President of the United States – as the Libertarian Party candidate?” you asked.

Yes, I said. Absolutely! I told you exactly what you brought to the table. Why you'd be an extraordinary Libertarian Candidate for President.

“If I do run for President, will you organize my campaign?” you asked.

“Yes!” I said.

We talked over 2 hours on what each of us would need to do to set things in motion.

We got into gear.

I gave you a list of 73 key Libertarian Party leaders to call – to discuss your decision.

You called every single one. In less than 2 weeks.

I invited hundreds of Libertarians to join us. Better than 3 out of 4 did.

You began writing a proposal for your 1996 Libertarian Presidential campaign book: “Why Government Doesn't Work.”

I began organizing the campaign – and inviting Libertarians to join us.

They did. In droves. I began inviting and involving volunteers. Asking for and accepting donations.

The campaign quickly outgrew my management skills. We brought Sharon Ayres on board as Campaign Manager. David Bergland as Campaign co-Chair.

We asked Jack Dean and Geoff Braun on board. And, after the Nomination, we sought the guidance of Steve Dasbach and Perry Willis.

Working hand-in-glove with the Libertarian Party, we increased Libertarian Party membership from under 10,000 to over 22,000 on Election Day, 1996.

But it didn't stop there.

A team of 5 key individuals transformed the Libertarian Party and the Libertarian Movement.

Which five? Harry Browne, Michael Cloud, Perry Willis, Steve Dasbach, and Bill Winter.

We grew the Libertarian Party membership from 9,747 members on August 14, 1994 – the day you and I launched your first Libertarian Presidential Campaign – to over 38,000 LP members and supporters at the end of your 2000 Libertarian Presidential Campaign.

Harry, there were five of us. But you were the indispensable ingredient. The missing factor in the libertarian equation.

You reached millions of Americans with our Libertarian message. On Talk Radio, TV, your books, and in person.

You touched us, inspired us, and moved us.

Harry, you changed our lives.

A few weeks ago, I knew that you didn't have long.

But I kept putting off writing your Eulogy.

Somewhere, deep down, I wanted to believe that, if I didn't write your Eulogy, you wouldn't die.

Harry, I love you. You changed my life. I AM a better libertarian, a better writer, and a better man for mixing my Karma, my fate with yours.

I am happily Tonto to your Lone Ranger.

I am grateful to you for who you are – and what I am becoming because of your influence and impact.

Thank you and goodbye, Harry. I will always remember you.

small government is beautiful,

Michael Cloud



by Carla Howell


I'd heard that a man named Harry Browne would be the banquet speaker for my first Libertarian state convention in 1995. As I waited at my dinner table for his speech to begin, I busied myself as I often do: opining about politics. I had no idea he was sitting right at my table with his wife Pamela.

They listened quietly while several of us dominated the conversation. Finally, someone acknowledged his presence. The woman next to me turned to him and thanked him for his book “How I Found Freedom in An Unfree World.” She gushed with appreciation for how it changed her life.

I felt foolish for not recognizing this best-selling author, and embarrassed for touting my newbie opinions in front of a man who possessed far greater political knowledge than me.

Then Harry Browne took the stage. Tall and eloquent, his delivery was funny, personable, and charming. He was able to put into simple language the problems of Big Government and the virtues of liberty – concepts I was just beginning to understand – beautifully. I was enthralled. I knew immediately that this was a candidate who I could get behind with all my heart and soul. He later became the 1996 Libertarian nominee for president.

At the end of his presentation, I bounded to the stage to wait in line to speak with him. When my turn came, I briefly acknowledged how excited I was about his campaign and pledged my support.

Then I proceeded to issue four unsolicited suggestions to him. Some of us veteran campaigners call them “yottas” (you-ought-to's). He politely noted my suggestions.

Later I would realize how naïve I was. None of my yottas were particularly useful or well thought through.

What I should have said instead to Harry Browne on that fateful evening was simply, “Thank you.”

My appreciation of Harry Browne grew each time I heard him speak or read his prose. A more principled, talented, and dedicated man in the world of political activism is just about impossible to find.

Not only was Harry Browne crystal clear about the damaging effects of Big Government and the huge opportunity of small government. He was one tough cookie. He had extraordinary integrity, character, and self-confidence that would enable him to resist being swayed by the temptations, pressures, pomp and circumstance of a U.S. presidency.

If anyone could be trusted to stand up to Big Government with unwavering resolve – and to stand for the rights and freedoms of the everyday citizen - it was Harry Browne. The ideal public servant.

Thank you, Harry Browne, for your courage. Your brilliance. Your energy. Your commitment. Your profound understanding of government and liberty. Your unapologetic boldness.

Thank you Harry Browne for inspiring the many who will work for freedom for generations to come - because of you.

Thank you Harry Browne for your books, essays, interviews, and speeches, which will live on and bless this world forever.

For me, Harry Browne is a giant among men. I will miss him and cherish him as long as I live.





How did Harry Browne change your mind – or change your life?

Maybe you heard Harry Browne on Talk Radio. Perhaps you saw him on TV. Or saw him in person.

Would you share your personal experience of Harry Browne with us – and Pamela Browne?

Maybe you read “Why Government Doesn't Work.” Or “The Great Libertarian Offer.”

Would you let us know the thoughts or insights that the book inspired or prompted?

OR: Would you tell us the difference that Harry Browne – or Harry's books or interviews or speeches – made in YOUR life?

I will personally send your memories or thoughts or thank-you email message to Pamela Browne.

Michael Cloud


We continue to pass on your messages to Pamela Browne.

Please write yours up and send it to:


Remember to include your name and state, so we can note who submitted it.

Thank you.


2005 Copyright Carla Howell and Michael Cloud

* "small government is possible", "small government is beautiful", “Small Government Pledge” and "Small Government News" are Service Marks (SM) of Carla Howell and Michael Cloud. "Personal Responsibility Sets Us Free" is a Service Mark of Michael Cloud.

Subscribe to Small Government News

Center for Small Government home page